Adding Fills in Sequences

Is it possible to add drum fills in sequence mode? I want to add a quick 1 or 2 bar drum fill to transition to the next sequence.

Probably a lot of ways to go about doing this but probably the easiest is just creating your drumloop, and then duplicating it to the length you want and then going to the 16th (or 32) or whatever bar you want the fill on and then editing that bar.

I’ve been doing a lot of studying on this particular subject but the feature set and fx doesn’t really consist of anything that would do something that would do exactly what the TR-8s specifically has…

The chance and random fx are helpful for overall variation but to my understanding there is no way of making it so that it does a “fill” every x bars.

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If I understand correctly, I would create my main drum loop for let’s say 8 bars. I would then create a second track for the fill and set it for the same 8 bars, but would only record the last one or two or wherever I want the fill.

Create a drum loop… duplicate (I mean length here) i.e. Track+Length + > by using track length to duplicate… move to last bar… edit in fill. No need for a second track… depending on how long your song is; what it’s doing, and where it’s doing it… you have 32 sequences to arrange it all… just have different patterns in one track for different sequences… As far as I know you can have 1 track playing a pattern in one sequence and then playing a different pattern in a different sequence… I believe that is the underlying reasons patterns exist in this context.

I haven’t delved too much into patterns yet. I’ve really only taken tracks and arranged them as such into sequences.

Well, you have 32 patterns all together per track so combined with sequence count there a lot you can do with just patterns and sequences. say… 32 patterns all similar but with different fills at the end and maybe some including hats… others not… some having toms… others not… etc.

As @Ezmyrelda mentions: lots of ways to approach this. One or two might work best based on the way you want to interface with your music.

Another technique which can also be used in conjunction with Ezmyrelda’s solution is to add muted Note Events in your sequence and increase the Mute Probability Global Effect, by Assigning an Encoder, an axis on the touchpad, or an incoming MIDI CC from an external controller. By increasing the Mute Probability parameter you increase the Chance for those muted Note Events to voice.

And this works across all Tracks, so you can even add extra passing notes on bass lines, or other tracks.

Also keep in mind that if you tend to use Free Mode, all your Tracks are running concurrently, just some are Muted. Swapping a fill Track for a running Track is easy as setting a sequence for Fill if you want to operate it manually.

And because i just had a high sodium meal, Ill add: you can make your Fill Track all fills. That is a full bar fill, then dupe it a bunch of times and vary them, maybe add some randomisation for more interest, and maybe the Mute Probability scheme above, and then just swap what you want the fill to happen.

But wait, theres more.
I think i love the Pyramid more than I previously imagined.
Sorry for the blather.
Ezmyrelda’s solution is def easier. :wink:


I’m pretty sure my love for the Pyramid knows no bounds… I just can’t wait for it to meet and interact with new (non-computer based) friends… Like a friendly TR-8S with fills each x amount of bars… or a nice friendly Korg Monologue with frothy overdrive… or a cute little NTS-1 buddy to chirp out smol beeps and bloops.


Awesome topic, I too have spent quite a lot of time pondering about how to best achieve this.

My variation to the theme described by Ezmyrelda is to always use separate tracks for the fills. Fills track is always the full length of the sequence, for the main track I usually start with a short loop and just put fills on top of that. For little fills (a crash here, a second snare or couple of toms there) you don’t even need to edit the main loop at all. Towards the completion of the song, I then dupe the main drum rhythm track to the full seq length and edit blanks (often just mute hihats and snares) to the places for the bigger fills that require them - typically just on song part changes, eg part of the last bar of a sequence.

This keeps the main rhythm remains tweakable throughout the process and the parts that do change between different verses etc are isolated on a track of their own, so you can build up the variations as different patterns gradually as and if needed.

I’ve been thinking about ways to automate the main track muting somehow, but for my typical uses the above scheme is hasslefree enough that it doesn’t seem worth the trouble. One of these days I will properly investigate it though, if only for the heck of it :grin:

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One of the things I lurves about the Pyramid is for everything musical I want to do, there are multiple ways to approach it.

I also LURVES the brilliance of PyraMIDI.

I know plenty of people don’t want to use an Event Processor and external controller, and that’s awesome (!), but using them pretty much effectively makes layers of SEQ Modes: You can Mute/Unmute Tracks without changing already playing Tracks at all (whereas the native SEQ Mode works with all 64 Tracks).

In my rig, I have Fill Tracks which replace existing Tracks based on my script. It’s not necessarily 1:1, but basically for each Fill I make note of:

  • When filling, which Tracks to Mute
  • When filling, which Tracks to replace those Muted ones with

The Fill Tracks are nothing but fills: Full bars, over and over, in different flavours of rhythmically appropriate chunks, all running concurrent but Muted to the regular drum (or even melodic!) Tracks. Pressing my “Fill” button swaps the “Tracks I want to Remove” with the “Tracks I want to use to Replace those” while the button is down.

The Fill Tracks are lopside - or rather, they are an odd number of repetitions since I still tend to play in 2s and 4s most times. So that if I fill every 4th bar, the fills cycle differently and tend to present new information. Coupled with using Mute Probability, I can be assured of an immense resource of Fills that incorporate Chance (I modulate Mute Probability in realtime when I play the Pyramid).

Note: A “Fill” is not limited to Drum Tracks - some of my fills will send CC07 or 11 to make a ‘stutter’ on a drone track, or modulate a Pitch Bend or other MIDI CC. Also I can have 3 Fill Tracks replacing 2 regular Tracks - it doesn’t have to be 1 for 1.

Anyhoo - point is that stepping outside the need to push buttons on the Pyramid and using external stuff frees up so much. I mean, you can even automate these with a loopback, although I prefer hands-on…as in, I “play” the sequencer. I can expand, but I’ve blathered on enough. Sorry.

Basic example.
This was my ‘tester’ for the scheme. I have two Fill Buttons here, one for Kick and one for Snare. This was a basic cover song to try it all out. (The song (Soft Cell’s “Mr Self Destruct”) is supposed to have vocals, I just don’t really sing):


That rig of yours is quite something :grin:

Inspired by this topic, I finally got off my lazy a** to have a look at the “fill problem” on my own setup yesterday. I only really use Pyramid to construct pre-programmed backing tracks for songs and never “play” Pyramid itself, so the base scenario is a bit different. Anyway, I stumbled upon a ridiculously simple scheme that seems quite nice and flexible:

Main drum loop and fills on separate tracks and channels. Using an external MIDI processor, map an otherwise unused note from the fills drum kit to momentarily mute the main loop track, by whatever means available. With just that, drum loops can be used the way deity intended without ever unrolling them, and fills can be either supplementary or replace the loop as needed, just by placing that “mute” note of desired length on the fills track.

There are any number of ways this could be implemented, I just mapped “C1 from channel 11” (ie the fills channel) to “filter channel 10” control on MidiHub. My case is additionally complicated a bit by the fact that JV-1080 can only really do drum kits on channel 10 so I need another rule to remap channel 11 to channel 10 after the mute-rule has been processed.

Looped back PyraMIDI could be used to achieve roughly the same without an external processor, but there are some caveats: it needs to be on a separate track from the fills, the drum loop would need to be free-running for Pyramid track muting to resume correctly, and Pyramid mute states need to be explicitly toggled on and off. CC messages could be used for toggling the mute too, but they need to be explicitly turned on and off, and need swapping around between CC and Note step mode when programming. An external processor momentarily blocking as long as a note is pressed avoids both, and should return the main loop to default unmuted state when Pyramid is stopped. As for caveats, time will tell I’m sure :grin:

The next stop would be somehow automating the mute, but then the dumb processor will never know whether you want a fill to be just a supplementary (eg crash splash) or if the loop needs to be muted. So either those two types would need separate tracks+channels which seems excessive and complicated, or something. Or maybe one could write a drummer-emulator software that takes a MIDI feed of the drum beat on one channel, fills on another and figures out which parts are playable with the four limbs available to a drummer, prioritizing on fills. :crazy_face: :joy:

Ive been ising 16 bit masks in my control software for On/Off status and divide the 4 banks in logical (for me. Ha!) categories which allows me to define on a per song basis:

  • tracks that play normally
  • fill tracks
  • tracks that are replaced with a fill

This way i can swap in and out multiple tracks and since these point to Pyramid Tracks, the destinations of that MIDI data can be any connected device (ie CC modulations)

A lot to look at. Thanks everyone for y’all’s responses! I will experiment further and see how far I can get!

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